RCSI Biobank Service

The mission of the RCSI Biobanking Service is to provide quality and standardised collection, processing and storage of biospecimens for biomedical research. We provide support to RCSI researchers through the processing, storage and collation of data from multiple specimen types including tissue, blood, saliva, urine and stool.

We work with new and established biobanks to set up standard operating procedures for sample collection, processing and storage. These procedures are guided by best practice guidelines from the International Society for Biological and Environmental Repositories (ISBER) and the international standard ISO 20387 (biotechnology, biobanking, and general requirements for biobanking). The RCSI Biobanking Service provides support and guidance to research groups who want to achieve ISO accreditation.

Current services

We currently support the management and growth of over 15 biobanks, comprising of more than 20,000 samples and 100,000 aliquots. Current services include:

Blood processing

Nucleic acid extraction

  • WBC pellet preparation and storage
  • DNA extraction direct from whole blood using Qiagen spin column method
  • Two-step DNA extraction from whole blood – WBC prep + DNA extraction using Qiagen spin column method
  • RNA extraction from whole blood using Tempus Spin column method

Serum/plasma processing

  • Whole blood centrifugation and storage of serum/plasma

Saliva processing

Nucleic acid extraction

  • DNA extraction and quantification from saliva using DNA Genotek Oragene kits or cell press Isohelix kits

Saliva processing

  • Saliva centrifugation and storage

Urine processing

Urine processing

  • Urine centrifugation and storage

Urine smears

  • Processing urine sample and preparation of smear on slides

Sample shipment

Sample shipment preparation

  • Aliquot samples for shipment using 2ml tubes or 96 well plates

Tissue processing

Tissue processing and embedding to FFPE blocks

Tissue block sectioning (for staining or nucleic acid extraction)

  • Standard blocks
  • Mega blocks


  • Haematoxylin and eosin
  • Immunohistochemistry (including antibody optimisation)

TMA construction

Slide imaging

Nucleic acid extraction from FFPE sections

Accessing the service

The biobank works on a cost recovery system. We charge RCSI Principal Investigators only for the consumables and reagents used for each process that were purchased by the biobank. The cost for all biobank services is available to members of the Biobank Committee via a Sharepoint folder (RCSI Biobanking Service Charges). If you do not have access to this, please get in contact with details of your project and we can estimate biobanking costs for your work.

If there is any service that is not on this list, but you would like us to offer, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we can discuss adding it to the list.


Joanna Fay, Senior Biobank Technician.